No One’s Missing Wee Eck?

In a recent Telegraph column, the journalistic ghillie Alan Cochrane fired off a few more, poorly aimed, shots at Alex Salmond. The coonsil hoose kid who’ll accompany any Tory grandee on the grouse moors likes to do that. His self-aggrandising diary about the 2014 referendum campaign was titled Alex Salmond: My Part in His Downfall. In similar vein, his most recent column was headlined ‘Alex Salmond is desperate to remain relevant to Scottish independence, but no one’s missing Wee Eck.’ I’m not going to quote much from it except the intro:

Is there anyone out there who misses Alex Salmond? You know, that guy who used to be the First Minister and leader of the SNP but who, for a variety of reasons, disappeared from the political world but then staged a comeback with a new party, which then crashed and burned at the May 6 election.

Does the Telegraph employ two Alan Cochranes? Surely the author of the above cannot be the same Alan Cochrane who told us on May 5 that ‘the SNP may need to work with Alex Salmond’s Alba to keep a pro-independence majority’. Havering with another Telegraph scribe on the paper’s Chopper’s Politics podcast, someone called Alan Cochrane said the following:

I was talking to some strategists yesterday and he’s more popular in the North East of Scotland than say Nicola Sturgeon with nationalists. So he’ll get a seat there, and if he gets two or three others he could be in a position to influence the overall nationalist independence majority in the parliament.

If you’re in need of a guid laugh, listen to the rest of that podcast. Then, to see how poorly aimed the other Alan Cochrane’s latest pathetic potshot is, go watch the first of Mr Salmond’s weekly video updates for Alba members. You’ll be hastily reminded how and why ‘Wee Eck’ became a giant in Scottish politics and why a growing number of us are glad to see this legend resuming his rightful place at the heart of Scottish politics.

Alex Salmond might not be any more than the interim leader of Alba, but he is certainly going to play a decisive role in this new breakaway party and in the continuing struggle for Scotland.

The first point he makes in this video is that Alba is now the fastest growing political party on these islands. So much so, it is needing to reschedule its inaugural autumn conference because the original venue won’t be big enough to hold all the delegates. So rejoice, rejoice, he tells party members. Quite rightly. Leaders are dealers in hope, as Napoleon said, and don’t we all need a wee dollop of hope these days?

The most significant aspect of this short film isn’t what Mr Salmond says so much as how he says it. During the long years I spent in Scotland’s legacy media, I rubbed shoulders with the former SNP chieftain and first minister on numerous occasions but I’ve never been as impressed or uplifted by him as I was watching this vlog.

What didn’t destroy Alex Salmond has made him stronger

It is impossible to imagine anyone else on this planet emerging from the cruel ordeal to which he was (and still is) subjected so calm and clearly at peace with himself and the world. That old saying ‘what doesn’t destroy you makes you stronger’ is strongly debatable but Alex is certainly an advert for it. He had the full weight of the Anglo-British state (and its agents in the Unionist press and broadcast stations) brought down upon him and they did not destroy him. Far from it. He’s probably never felt stronger. They threw everything they thought they had on him – at him – and what was the outcome? Not guilty!

Even today many powerful and influential folk – from the current First Minister to her stenographers in the Scottish media – cannot bring themselves to accept the verdict of a female majority jury. Yet the target of so much lasting vindictiveness has come out smiling from Salmondgate. Not (and this is vital) in any smug manner. His previous trademark smirk has vanished. An enormous relief since it not only got up the noses of his Unionist enemies but also on some nationalists’ nerves. Certainly mine.

In his video Alex Salmond demonstrates that he is, even more than before, a truly masterful political communicator. There isn’t anyone at Pacific Quay who could have delivered such a lengthy, polished piece-to-camera without glancing at notes or stumbling at bits. Certainly no one who could segue so comfortably from an upbeat party pep talk into profound reflection upon the present state of Scottish and British politics. Especially in the segment towards the end where he gently advises Prince William to stay above constitutional politics, Mr Salmond comes across as what he undoubtedly is – a wise, elder statesman.

Smarter members of the Unionist commentariat than Alan Cochrane – not hard to find – continue to recognise (albeit grudgingly) the Alba leader’s enduring political strengths. In a recent column in the Times headlined ‘Alex Salmond is down but not out of the picture’, Kenny Farquharson shrewdly observed:

When he lost his Gordon seat in the 2017 general election, Salmond quoted a Sir Walter Scott poem in praise of the Jacobite commander John Graham, the first Viscount Dundee: “You’ve not seen the last of my bonnets and me.” It was true then. It is true now. Alex Salmond will be part of our politics for some time yet.

The question is what part should he play? My own thoughts on that are evolving by the day. I’ll share them here when I’m really sure what I believe to be in Alba’s and Scotland’s best interests. For now, just scroll back up and savour that wee video again.

19 thoughts on “No One’s Missing Wee Eck?

  1. I would like Alba to overtake the SNP and bring us to independence. I would like thousands of SNP members to move to Alba, and SNP politicians to move across to Alba, not to mire us in their identity politics, but to drive forward to independence. Leave the SNP to wallow in its identity politics which have been the cause of anguish and division in Scotland. For me, the arrest of Marion Millar was the very last straw. I will never vote SNP again.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I’m certainly no fan of Alex Salmond. However the politicaly motivated assassination attempt on him was truly shocking.
    I hope that the people responsible will get their comeuppance. I also believe that in a few years time, when our first minister is finally seen for what she is. There will be many, many Peters in scotland who will be denying ever having supported her, they will in fact be declaring that they always knew she was poison.
    Shame on those that inflicted her on our once lovely Scotland.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. So you’re not a fan of Alex Salmond. You believe that in a few years NS will get her comeupppance. People will deny ever supporting Nicola Sturgeon. They will claim they always knew she was poison.
      I was just to late on seeing your post or I would have asked you which horse would win the Epsom Derby today. But maybe you could tell us the two teams that will compete the final of Euro 21 and which one will win.


  3. I was never a huge fan of Salmond – though I did have massive respect for him and appreciated the hope, energy and fun he brought to Scottish politics in the run up to the referendum. However, as the scale of the plot against him became clear (which to me didn’t really happen until early this year with the inquiry) and the realisation of how much the SNP was behind it hit home, I became profoundly depressed and despairing about Scottish politics. I was honestly planning not to vote in May 2021 for the first time in my life, ever, as there was no party I could bring myself to for for.

    So it was amazing – and a little shaming – that it was Alex bouncing back on the scene with characteristic energy and humour who picked me up again (and I suspect an awful lot of other people who were in the same place) and gave us back some hope. For someone to be able to do that, despite him being the one who actually went through the thing mostly creating the despair is a real measure of the man. I’m sure he has many faults (though I’m also sure he recognises and tries to address them in a way many lesser politicians don’t) but there is no other politician in Scotland, or the UK like him.

    Scotland remains in a very dark place, and I don’t see much hope at the moment, especially after the May result. Any chink of it is to be welcomed right now.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. A reflective and valuable contribution and I too am anxious about the diminishing currency of hope especially after Kenny McK’s contribution in the Scotsman earlier in the week. I like so many others want to live in an Independent Scotland not in a devo-maxed UK and certainly don’t want to feel anxious about doubting Alba’s true intentions.


  4. I don’t any regard when it comes to hack such as Cockroach, I mean’t Cochrane, Alex Salmond is still the only political giant in Scotland in my eyes. Salmond can easily without effort speak of Scottish history and incorporate it into his talks and speeches with regards to Scotland and Scottish interests, the current FM in my opinion couldn’t lace his boots.

    Salmond might not be at the forefront of politics in Scotland at the moment, but he will return stronger and more focused with a bigger backing over the next few years as the machinations of the current FM’s government and party begin to dawn on folk who otherwise wouldn’t have thought it possible for such deeds to occur under her, and her husbands tenure.

    Salmond has the tenacity and naunce to bat away unionist hacks personal attacks, he’s done it for years now, countering the unionist media machine in full flow pre-and post 2014 with grace and style that Sturgeon could only dream of.

    AS long as Alex remains in reasonably good health, we will see him back at Holyrood I think.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. “He had the full weight of the Anglo-British state (and its agents in the Unionist press and broadcast stations) brought down upon him and they did not destroy him”.
    Does that include David Davis about whom the Herald commenced an article with ‘A TORY MP has used parliamentary privilege to reveal “whistleblower” evidence about the Alex Salmond affair and claim Nicola Sturgeon misled Holyrood’? I watched Davis use parliamentary privilege in HoC and personally I thought he did everything possible to show how AS was being shafted by the venal and corrupt shambles that was the ‘inquiry’. Can you explain how I may have been wrong in this?


    1. Holyrood (in which that ‘inquiry’ was held) is an adjunct of the Anglo-British State. Parliamentary privilege enables MPs (and peers) to make statements without threat of prosecution for defamation. Very useful but hardly a complete counterbalance to the secret state. If we had justice, democracy and free media, we wouldn’t have had to wait so long for an English MP to expose and place on official record what he did. Aye, reports of Mr Davis’s intervention like that in the Herald were read by people like you. But do you really think that made right everything that is wrong about the state we’re in?

      Liked by 3 people

  6. After the bitter ashes from the continuing fallout from the burnt out & exposed Murrell Cabal car crash.
    It was so good to read your article & to hear/see Alex Salmond reminding us all of the reality that counts.
    Not this crumbling in on itself, scandals-ridden, Murrell Moonies endless New SNP soap opera.
    Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle is a cliche but it’s also very true.

    Alex Salmond is an historic figure & love how he flipped & exposed the rotten lot of them, in the 700th year anniversary of Arbroath no less. Out of the shadows blink’n in the lights.

    Everything you would want in a leader. O Captain my Captain!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I share a lot of the sentiments on here about the dignity with which Alex Salmond has handled an experience which would have easily crushed most of us. It’s almost as though the more that has been thrown at him, the more serene and confident he has become. It shows real character and integrity, qualities so sadly lacking in Holyrood at the moment.
    I also had the feeling that Scottish politics, together with the public prosecution system in Scotland, had so thoroughly disgraced itself that I was beginning to lose heart and faith that Scotland ever deserved to be an independent country. However, I have now seen and heard enough commentary from all sorts of sources that there are more voices out there than I had thought; voices who believe in the pursuit of truth and justice and don’t treat either as baubles to be used and abused.


    1. I only wish I was seeing more of that from the public in general, who seem to have bought totally into the narrative and keep buying it, no matter how many of the best, strongest pro indy supporters are being taken down and silenced in front of their eyes. I haven’t reached the point I don’t think Scotland deserves independence – on the contrary, we don’t deserve the state we’re in, which feels more like last stage, desperate colonialism. But I can increasingly see why we haven’t achieved it in 300 years and why Scots might still be writing about why we’re not independent in another 50 or 100 years.


      1. Yes, the manipulation and corruption are all too obvious once you dig deep enough and I agree not enough of us have taken the time to dig.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Slightly O/T.

    Alba MPs doing more for the Scottish independence cause than any SNP MP has done since 2014.

    Its patently obvious which of these two parties supports an independent Scotland, and which is willing to try and do something about it.


    1. Thanks for the link RoS.
      Looking forward to see how Alba MP’s perform at Westminster.
      It’s frankly embarrassing to see the Tories laugh every time Ian Blackford rises to speak.
      They know the SNP are no threat.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, great content, but the sound quality is pretty dreadful and the wind noise is terrible. It sounds very unprofessional. Does Alba not have any skilled video and audio people? It is relatively easy to remove or greatly lessen the wind noise.
    I would volunteer to help out with the sound, but that would involve my being sent the complete video and/or the audio. If that could be arranged, I would be happy to help.


    1. Being around a short time their war chest no doubt needs filling with lots more money. It costs to have quality, but they deserve kudos for gallantry and spirit . Alba is rising.


  10. In the 1700s Scotland’s «leaders» were bribed and bought and handed their country’s sovereignty to a foreign power. There are sufficient of the type around to make sure it is never handed back; some in the most unexpected places.
    It is important to remember that unionism is a Scottish invention, a psychological balm for what the English took, and right logically, for simple annexation. When Scots stop applying the balm and experience the stark reality change will come whether wanted or not.
    There will be much kicking, screaming and not a little blood on that fabulous carpet.
    I surmise Mr Salmond is very aware of that reality.


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